A SOMERSET councillor has hit out at the County Council over plans to find £300k to bring some services -in-house, while it plans to cut £500k from another budget.

County and town councillor John Thorne, voiced his concerns regarding a decision that is set to be made on June 4.

It involves a contract for 'hard facilities management services', which is currently delivered by Skanska, but it due to expire in September this year.

The council is considering bringing the service in-house, which would increase the budget by £300,000.

Cllr Thorne is questioning how the council can consider spending the extra money at the same time as considering to close libraries across the county.

"The council wants to save £500,000 from the libraries budget over three years, there are 34 libraries, so per year, it's around £5,000 for each library.

"I am not surprised they want to pull out of the contract with Skanska, but I don't understand where they are going to find the extra money.

"Why does it cost so much more and when will the cost drop?"

He said it was 'very surprising' libraries are potentially being closed when the council can find extra money for this contract.

"My local library in Wellington is at risk of being closed, and for what, £5,000?

"Why are libraries being closed when we can find this money out of nowhere?

"I understand there are financial difficulties at the council, but it cannot argue it plans to close libraries to save money but then suddenly find £300,000. The two don't go together."

The council said the increase would be to the staffing budget, but the overall savings would be 'substantial'.

A Somerset County Council spokesman said: “Our property maintenance contract comes to an end on 30 September, and a decision is expected to be made in June on whether Somerset County Council will deliver its own property services going forward.

"Although this proposal increases our staffing budget by £300k, our current spend with contractors will reduce by twice that amount, resulting in a substantial net saving for Somerset County Council going forward while still delivering an efficient and quality property service.”